Turbulent Descent looks to build on debut in Moccasin

Saturday, November 20, 2010

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Expectations are sky-high for 2-year-old filly Turbulent Descent, a potential star that makes her second career start Sunday in the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Based on a deceptively easy debut victory, Turbulent Descent will be favored over Zazu and four others in the seven-furlong stakes. If Turbulent Descent repeats her crushing debut, the Moccasin could be history.

“I’ve never had a horse break it’s maiden first out and run as easy as she did,” trainer Mike Puype said. “She won by [three-quarters)] with a 91 Beyer [Speed Figure], and he never let her run.”

Confidently handled by David Flores, Turbulent Descent raced inside and behind horses, eased out for the drive, cruised to the front in midstretch, and inched clear in 1:09.90 with little urging. She beat a legitimate field; four exiting that Oct. 3 race won next out.

Puype could have run Turbulent Descent back in the Anoakia Stakes on Oct. 24.

“I don’t like bringing back horses that quickly” after a debut victory, he said.

But a quick turnaround could be the only option if Turbulent Descent runs well Sunday.

The Moccasin is a prep race for the Grade 1, 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 11.

“It’s back in 20 days, which is not optimum, but I gave her plenty of time” following her debut, Puype said.

A daughter of Congrats, Turbulent Descent returns with solid recent works. Puype said Flores has worked her every time. Blinkers On Racing Stable recently sold a 25 percent interest in the filly to Bill Strauss.

Zazu has a seasoning advantage, having raced twice. Trainer John Sadler said Zazu was short for her Sept. 4 debut at Del Mar.

“She only had three five-eighths [works]; she needed a race to get ready,” he said. “When she finished second, I was encouraged.”

Second time out, Zazu improved and won a maiden race by 2 3/4 lengths with an 88 Beyer. Mike Smith rides the daughter of Tapit, who is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss.

Sugarinthemorning is the only two-time winner. The California-bred daughter of Candy Ride won a statebred allowance in her last start. She is trained by Ron McAnally.

Tales in Excess won her Sept. 4 debut at Del Mar with a 93 Beyer but regressed in two subsequent starts. Warren’s Flyer and Recipient are the other two starters.

The Moccasin is race 7 on a nine-race card.